At the southern end of Sawtell Beach is an offshore island, which creates a sheltered position on the coast. The island is a popular surf spot for locals (long boards), tourists and learn-to-surfers. Between the island and the headland is a bay/lagoon type area which is sheltered and safer for smaller children than the big waves. On very low tides, you can walk straight across to the island and explore the rockpools.
The main beach is patrolled every day from spring until winter, as well as on weekends throughout the year, and during school holidays. It's important to swim between the flags, as Sawtell can get strong rips. The southern end of the beach is always more protected (near the island).
To access Sawtell Beach and get your first impressive views, park down near the Surf Club on the corner of Fourth and Second Avenues (there is a carpark and street parking available). The Surf Club has outdoor showers and a tap, as well as public bathroom facilities.
At the front of the Surf Club is the popular new café, The Kiosk, which is open from 6am to 4pm daily, except during bad weather. In front of the café are a couple picnic tables, a lovely grassy hill area to sit and enjoy the views, and a viewing platform. This is a perfect spot to enjoy your fish and chips, picnic lunch, or to just get down on the sand for a nice beach walk.
A perfect spot to enjoy fish and chips with a view
There are other paths and access points along the beach, which are used by locals. There is a carpark and another public shower/tap near the island, at the base of Bonville Headland, off Boronia Street. Halfway up the hill to Bonville Headland is another parking area next to the boat ramp (only vehicles with boats can go down to the beach).
Dogs are not allowed on the main Sawtell Beach, but can be on leashes north of the main part of Sawtell Beach, in the area which stretches between the rocks up to Boambee Headland (officially 'Murray's Beach').
So if you're after a nice spot to enjoy the views and the renowned swimming spots of the Coffs Harbour coast, make sure you check out Sawtell Beach.